It’s our Japaniversary today! It has been exactly one year since J and I moved to Japan, something I honestly had never even dreamed of. It has been a happy and action-packed year, and even though I feel stressed every time I remember all the things I still have left to see and do (and eat, duh), I always remind myself to be present and appreciate all the wonderful spots I managed to cover so far. The Land of the Rising Sun has certainly spoiled me with its natural beauty for the past year, but there are places that truly wow me. As a celebratory post I want to share with you last weekend’s trip to Hitachi Seaside Park which qualifies as one of my favorite experiences in Japan and most certainly as the highlight of fall season.
You know fall has officially arrived when the fuzzy-looking kochia bushes (also known as kokia, fireweed, burning bush or summer cypress) turn from verdant green to hot pink and cranberry color. Located a few-hour drive away from Tokyo, namely in Ibaraki prefecture, this sprawling park is famous for its collection of beautiful flowers, plants and trees. The gardens are designed in such a way that at any given moment during the year there is always something in full bloom. The park is particularly known for their nemophila and tulip fields in spring as well as hills covered in pink kochia during fall. Although, I bet they look equally striking in green color during summer. Seeing those stems actually being hot pink was quite perplexing. I also loved how soft and fuzzy they looked although in reality they were quite rough to the touch. Besides kochia, we got to see other flower fields, all equally beautiful of course.
Even though kochia’s transformation doesn’t coincide with peak foliage season elsewhere in Japan (except Hokkaido), I’d highly recommend making your way to Hitachi if you find yourself in Japan at the end of Oct through mid-November. It would make a perfect day trip and is an ideal place for family travel. Besides the gardens there is a big amusement park with attractions catering to kids of all ages. Plus, the park is located next to a huge shopping mall. For a more detailed information about Hitachi Seaside Park and how to get there here is a great reference from Japan Guide.
That’s about it. I’ll let the photos do rest of talking and show you how truly breathtaking it all was. Specially thanks to my friend Susan who kindly took my portraits and contributed a few if these images.
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Linking up with wonderful ladies at Monday Escapes, Wanderful Wednesday, Faraway Files, Weekend Travel Inspiration.
Hello Nano, I would like to visit Hitachi park in mid November (15, 16, or 17 November) but I am afraid the red color would have been gone by then. I am curious how the Kochia would look like by then? Is it recommended to visit during this period? Thank you!
Hello Huy! Unfortunately I cannot answer your question because it all depends on the weather that season. Sometimes they turn red sooner, sometimes later. I would guess they will still be around by mid-November, but I recommend checking out Instagram updates from that location. People post their photos every day and you can see how the bushes look. Check hashtags and location tags of Kochia Park. Hope this helps. Thanks for reading! xx
How absolutely swoon worthy, Nano! The colours are quite something. I always love your photos and these are just brilliant. What a great way to celebrate your first year in Japan. Thank you so much for sharing this with us on #FarawayFiles
Thanks again Clare for all the love!
Wow, these look like they are straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. Beautiful photographs, thanks for joining us at Weekend Travel Inspiration! #wkendtravelinspiration
Thanks for hosting, this place was truly a gem :)
Wow! I’ve seen pictures of this before, but never actually knew where it was. This is awesome. Thanks so much for sharing. #farawayfiles
Thank you for reading :)
What beautiful gardens. The colours are so vibrant – love these photos. :)
Wow what a beautiful park! I’ve definitely pinned this for later!! #Wkendtravelinspiration
It was indeed stunning. Thanks for reading :)
Awww man, this is SO in my bucket list! I would love to be able to live in Japan for a year (at least) to visit all the seasonal attractions like this one. Your pictures are so amazing. Wish I was there!
I agree, there is so much to see you do need at least a year to explore :) Thank you so much for stopping by!
Wow! Absolutely stunning pictures! Just discovered your blog through Claire at Tin Box Traveller, laura
Thank you so much Laura, I’m happy you enjoyed the post. That’s why I love the link-ups, connecting to many wonderful travelers out there :)
This place is paradise! I bet you had serious trouble choosing which pictures to include in your post. I love the vibrant colours and informal walkways. You portrait shots by your friend are wonderful. Thanks so much for linking up again with #MondayEscapes
You guessed it right Claire, it was hard to decide which pictures to post :) Thanks for the link-up and for reading!
What an amazing sight Nano! I absolutely must see these gardens for myself. I am so itching to visit Japan for so many reasons and this is now one of them. Congratulations on your expataversary and thanks for joining us on #FarawayFiles
Thank you Katy, I hope you’ll get to visit soon! :)
Oh wow, I have never heard or seen of this place before but those colours are amazing! I really want to visit Japan, but the more I see, the more I have no idea which season to pick so I think living there for a year will pretty much cover it all!! Snow monkeys, cherry blossom and now this, wow, Japan just keeps getting better and better. Thank you for sharing this and confusing me some more (in a good way of course!), I have pinned this for the future!! #farawayfiles
Haha I agree, it is very hard to choose which season to visit. You definitely cannot go wrong with Spring or Fall though! :)
Wow! This place is amazing! I have seen photos before but didn’t notice these are individual bushes. Nature has a lot of surprises stored for us. #MondayEscapes
So true Ruth, couldn’t believe the beauty I was seeing!
Wow, those plants are cool! I’d never heard of kochia before. Beautiful photos :) And happy anniversary!
Thank you so much Kendra!
Gorgeous pic the colours are just breathtaking, it is such a beautiful place to live x
Thank you so much for reading, Sarah! :)
Hi! I grew up in Tokyo but never been here! Soooo beautiful! I should visit there too!
You definitely should visit, it is utterly beautiful:)
Lovely photos. I will visit on a weekend trip from Tokyo!
How exciting, you’ll love it!!
Nano, just when I think Japans foliage and beauty can’t get any more beautiful, you show me another season and another display of beautiful coloured plants that prove me wrong! I could have gazed at these fields of pink bushes all day and had so much fun taking photos in and amongst them. What a year you have had. Congratulations and here’s to many more adventures!
Thank you so much Shikha, your comments always fill my heart with joy. I’m like you, every time I think I exhausted discovering the beauty of Japan I find a new place/space that takes my breath away.
Happy anniversary and oh my goodness what gorgeous photos!
Thank you sooo much hun :)
Speechless! So incredibly beautiful! Like a fairy tale garden!
Thank you so much Mara, it was indeed a dreamy place :)
Happy Anniversary!! :) Aaaand, what stunning photos, these are gorgeous!!
Also, how funny: we moved to Chile on the exact same day as you last year :)
I know, what a coincidence!! :)
Oh come on! Serious! As if it couldn’t get any better! Your posts, your photos, me not
I’m so jelly right now. You’re a gem. Luv your writing and photography styl-e. You rock.
Thank you so much Susie! :)